Rackspace retools managed public cloud business

Rackspace's managed public cloud business is packaging services to help customers at different phases of their cloud journeys; other news from the week.

Rackspace, a cloud and managed service provider based in San Antonio, has revamped its managed public cloud services to address different phases of customers' cloud journeys and provide greater flexibility.

The company's new approach is built around Rackspace Service Blocks, which provide packaged services for cloud environments, including Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform and Alibaba. The service blocks target areas such as architecture, deployment, operational support, cost optimization and complex cloud operations, like Kubernetes.

Prashanth Chandrasekar, senior vice president and general manager of managed public cloud at Rackspace, said the service blocks address specific aspects of cloud adoption, operations and innovation. For instance, a customer interested in getting on the cloud could purchase architecture, design and deployment service blocks, he noted. A customer three months into a cloud deployment, however, might wish to purchase managed services to operate the cloud.

In six to nine months, a customer may opt to discontinue managed services and focus instead on cost optimization, Chandrasekar explained. In addition, a more seasoned cloud customer may purchase Rackspace Service Blocks to "go in and innovate" on Kubernetes and containers, he said.

"The idea is to really be flexible as the customer continues to mature on the cloud," Chandrasekar said.

The managed public cloud service blocks, which may be mixed and matched, let customers pay for only the specific cloud challenges they want to solve, as opposed to signing an inflexible 10-year contract, he added.

The idea is to really be flexible as the customer continues to mature on the cloud.
Prashanth Chandrasekarsenior vice president and general manager of managed public clouds, Rackspace

Other new Rackspace cloud offerings include the following:

  • Managed infrastructure as code. This service includes a continuous integration and delivery pipeline that Chandrasekar said helps propel customers into the DevOps
  • Multi-cloud guidance. In this service, Rackspace cloud personnel use a methodology that weighs about 100 technical and commercial factors to help determine the best public cloud fit for a given workload.
  • Unified multi-cloud management. Here, Rackspace offers consolidated billing, ticketing, monitoring and alerting across multiple public clouds.

Nutanix committed to growing through partners

Hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) player Nutanix has set its sights on becoming a $3 billion company -- with channel partners fueling that growth, according to the vendor's channel chief.

Nutanix, which partners with managed services providers (MSPs) and systems integrators, among other channel business types, revised its channel program this year to bolster partners' sales and marketing capabilities. Nutanix's channel charter and redesigned partner program was formally implemented in August, introducing new program tier levels and channel resources.

The charter's aim was to help all Nutanix partners, regardless of their company sizes, "be successful in the market selling our solutions," Rodney Foreman, vice president of global channel sales at Nutanix, based in San Jose, Calif., told us in a recent interview. He added that the charter also strives to help partners double and triple their transaction volumes.

Among Nutanix's efforts to boost transactions was the launch of the Velocity partner initiative, which provides partners with preapproved pricing and discounts on certain products targeted at midmarket customers.

According to Foreman, the channel charter launch wasn't a radical shift for Nutanix, because the company has long focused on a 100% channel sales strategy.

"What the ... channel charter does is ... it supports that strategy, but it also embraces the fact that we know the marketplace is changing, and we know that partners are evolving and changing. The traditional reseller doesn't exist as much anymore today," he said.

HYCU launches channel incentive program

In related news, HYCU Inc. has launched a channel program to reward partners that sell the Boston company's backup and recovery software for Nutanix environments.

The program, Speed to HYCU, specifically focuses on joint sales opportunities stemming from the Nutanix Velocity partner initiative, which targets the midmarket. The Speed to HYCU program is "targeted toward partners driving Velocity opportunities and gives them an added incentive," said Junelle Swan, vice president of channels at HYCU.

That incentive comes in the form of an additional 10% margin on top of HYCU's deal registration program, she said. HYCU's deal registration system contains an extra field that lets partners indicate a pending HYCU sale is a Velocity opportunity.

In addition, HYCU will give marketing dollars to the top-selling Speed to HYCU partners in each of its geographic regions: America, EMEA and Asia-Pacific. The rewards will be made on a quarterly basis.

NetApp partners optimistic about Data Fabric

A lot is going on at NetApp.

That was the conclusion of John Woodall, vice president of engineering at Integrated Archive Systems (IAS), after attending the NetApp Insight conference last week in Las Vegas. The conference saw a deluge of product releases and innovations, including expanded NetApp HCI offerings and new flash storage products.

"This is a different company than it was four years ago," Woodall said. "I have more reasons to go talk to customers than I have in a long time."

IAS, based in Palo Alto, Calif., is a long-standing NetApp partner. The vendor's technology makes up a "big piece of our business," Woodall noted.

Among the highlights of the conference, Woodall said, was NetApp demonstrating progress made around its Data Fabric strategy and pivot toward cloud.

"I remember four years ago, Data Fabric was as simple as SnapMirror [replication] from an on-premises OnTap system to OnTap running as a virtual instance in Amazon. ... A lot of things have changed in Data Fabric, but the consistent themes are still there. It is nice to see as a partner that progression," he said.

Others news

  • Blancco Technology Group, which specializes in data erasure and mobile device diagnostics, has inked new channel distribution deals with Ingram Micro Canada, H3 Secure, Bayside Solutions and Softchoice.
  • Turbonomic, a hybrid cloud workload automation vendor, unwrapped its Cloud Specialization program for offering assessment plans and optimization services for Microsoft Azure and AWS. Partners that achieve the specialization can receive access to technical support for first engagements, marketing campaigns and service delivery templates, Turbonomic said.
  • Security vendor Cylance now integrates with ConnectWise's remote monitoring and management (RMM) software, ConnectWise Automate. The integration lets Automate users access CylanceProtect and CylanceOptics security products from within the RMM platform.
  • NuMSP, a managed IT services and cybersecurity provider in Clifton, N.J., has acquired Network Medics, an MSP in Minneapolis.
  • Insight Enterprises demonstrated a solution accelerator that the company said helps customers boost the time to market for public safety solutions enabled via the internet of things. The accelerator, developed by Insight's Digital Innovation division, was featured at Microsoft's recent IoT in Action event in Santa Clara, Calif.
  • Network security vendor Infoblox said it has augmented its partner program with new accreditation, partner tools and rebates. The vendor will host its first Americas Partner Summit next week in Paradise Valley, Ariz.
  • GuardiCore, a data center and cloud security vendor, added Arbala Systems to its partner roster. Arbala, based in Dallas, provides managed detection and response (MDR) services. Arbala said it will incorporate GuardiCore's Centra Security Platform into its MDR offerings.
  • Mission, a managed services and consulting company, has appointed Andy Jolls as chief marketing officer and Stewart Armstrong as CFO. The company provides services around such cloud platforms as AWS and Azure.

Market Share is a news roundup published every Friday.

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